Human enhancement: a middle way?
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The prospect of human enhancement--of using medical interventions not just as therapies for disorders and injuries but as tools to make people better than normal--has often seemed to pit hardliners against freethinkers. Opponents of enhancement come across as negative, irrational, and rigid, while proponents look optimistic, reasonable, and flexible. I shall try to recast the debate. Much of the problem for opponents is that they often seem to rest their opposition on very strong and broad claims about human nature. It's possible, though, to have simple and down-to-earth reasons for not liking enhancement. And simpler, down-to-earth reasons can be flexible: they can be overridden or set aside when circumstances warrant. Moral enhancement--that is, enhancement of the capacities for deliberating on, settling on, and acting on moral judgments--provides a challenging test case.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018; noon to 1 p.m.; Room D1.602. "Human Enhancement: A Middle Way?". Gregory E. Kaebnick, Ph.D.; Editor, The Hastings Center Report; Research Scholar, The Hastings Center.